About Us The High Desert Chapter of the American Red Cross was chartered on July 1, 1990. Our administrative offices are located at 16248 Desert Knoll Drive in Victorville, California. The Chapter provides Red Cross services to High Desert residents and others within the northern and eastern portions of San Bernardino County. The Chapter maintains an additional office in Barstow, California, in a space generously provided by the Veterans Home. A Red Cross station is also located at the Fort Irwin Army National Training Center near Barstow. Although the American Red Cross is not a government agency, its authority to provide disaster relief was formalized in 1905, when Congress chartered the Red Cross to "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply that system in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing those calamities." Mission and Principles The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross As members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the American Red Cross and other national societies have a key role in upholding and abiding by the seven Fundamental Principles. Humanity: The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples. Impartiality: It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress. Neutrality: In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature. Independence: The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.